PD-1, a 55 kDa transmembrane protein containing an immunoreceptor tyrosine-based inhibitory motif, is induced in lymphocytes and monocytic cells following activation. Aged C57BL/6(B6)-PD-1(-/-) congenic mice spontaneously developed characteristic lupus-like proliferative arthritis and glomerulonephritis with predominant IgG3 deposition, which were markedly accelerated by introduction of a Fas mutation (lpr). Introduction of a PD-1 null mutation into the 2C-TCR (anti-H-2Ld) transgenic mice of the H-2(b/d) background resulted in the chronic and systemic graft-versus-host-like disease. Furthermore, CD8+ 2C-TCR+ PD-1(-/-) T cells exhibited markedly augmented proliferation in vitro in response to H-2d allogenic cells. Collectively, it is suggested that PD-1 is involved in the maintenance of peripheral self-tolerance by serving as a negative regulator of immune responses.